This year, I put one of my horses on 24/7 field board. His feet have always pretty solid and problem free; he is a little bit thin-soled, but that generally only shows up on very rocky ground.
Now that this winter has set in, he’s spending all of his time in snow, ice, and on the occasional warm day, mud. Since the big freeze has set in, I generally only get out to see him on the weekends. This weekend I was looking at his feet and finding myself horrified - his hind feet look awful (he’s shod up front). His heels and frogs are soft and spongy. The central groove is overly deep, his hoof bulbs are approaching squishy, and the structure of his frogs overall is sort of chopped up. I can’t quite tell, but it looks like he may have blown an abscess at one of his coronary bands (could also just be a scrape - hard to tell). I know this “breakdown” is because of all of the moisture he’s currently in. There is a run-in shed in his field, but he and his mates don’t spend much time in there, and even if he did, it’s pretty much like the rest of the field - wet, muddy, or frozen right now also. Coming indoors isn’t an option.
When I bring him in for grooming, I usually apply Farrier Barrier to his hooves, but I’m not sure if this is the best solution at this time. For those of you with horses on 24/7 turnout during this winter, what are you using to keep your horse’s feet from succumbing to this weather? (I’ve got availability to just about every potion out there - Kopertox, Keratex gel & hardener, Durasole, venice turpentine, floor wax, Today/Tomorrow…you name it, I’ve got it.) If one of these is better than what I’m using right now, can be used on waterlogged hooves, and will help his feet survive better this winter, please speak up!
Farrier is coming in a week and I’ll talk to him about the best solution, but any words of wisdom you might have, I’m all ears.